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 by AvengerRam
1 month ago
 Total posts:   6596  
 Joined:  Oct 03 2017
Israel   Lake Mary, Florida
Moderator

Fans and other outside observers, when perceiving a hole in a team's roster, are always keen on talking about player acquisition. Sign that free agent... draft that guy... trade for that other team's disgruntled star.

In doing so, I wonder whether we may be undervaluing player development. Certainly, there are examples of teams elevating players from the sidelines to key roles on the field. Darious Williams is a good recent example of such a player. Undrafted, claimed off waivers in 2018... in 2020, he's a key part of a defense that finished first in yards allowed.

I think that certain positions are more likely to produce "late bloomers" of this type. RBs, for example, tend to succeed early, or not at all. At other positions, though, it may take time in the weight room, learning a system, or finding the right role.

Turning back to the Rams, I wonder... who could be this year's Darious Williams? Could it be a guy like Austin Corbett moving to center? Or maybe Brycen Hopkins making us quickly forget Gerald Everett? Or is Van Jefferson going to become a star in his second year (much like a recent HOF Rams WR, who was also a 2nd round pick who blossomed in year 2). Or maybe a guy like Obo is ready to become a force?

Could our next rising star be right under our noses?

 by Blue Boy
1 month ago
 Total posts:   37  
 Joined:  Jun 14 2016
Argentina   LA Coliseum
Undrafted Free Agent

While I agree with your basic argument…

I would put a slightly different spin on your general premise… More accurately, I would restate it as "Do We Underestimate THE LACK OF Player Development"

Back in the 'good old days'… Those days BEFORE 'free agency' and the NFL Players Association’s more active role in the collective bargaining process, players stayed with teams for years… Player movement was a rare thing…

You had time for teams to stash players, allowing them to develop over time… During the 70’s those Rams teams were able to allow O-linemen and D-Linemen to develop… Come in and play when the guy ahead of him retired and in some cases become Pro Bowl players themselves…

More recently though, with the growing influence of the collective bargaining agreement… Practices have become more limited: Less practice days… The elimination of '2-a-days'… Limited live hitting… Limited in-season live hitting… Less and less repetitions… Fewer and fewer preseason games…

And with free agency - and especially contract year limits, you are less able to be patient with a new draft pick… 1st round picks get that 5th year option, but those drafted after him only get four years. Look at 70-Noteboom, a 2nd round pick who has done very little in his first three years… We Going into his 4th year - his 'walk year,’ we do not really know what we have there…

'Knock on wood,’ unless - heaven forbid - 77-Whitworth gets hurt and 70-Noteboom comes in and plays admirably three is no way that the Rams can confidently resign him at a reasonable cost…

The college game, too, has contributed to the situation… The game there has shifted to more of spread offense-type scheme… It is a game now that relies more athletic types than technique proficient players…

So in the end what I am saying is that 45 years ago you had the time to teach a player the proper techniques to play the game… And if he was an exceptional athlete, you could reasonably expect to be a star…

Today, you select the best athlete available AND HOPE that you have the time (and he has the inner will) for him to learn the proper techniques to become a star…

So a premium should be placed on this coaching staffs that put a premium on teaching players (i.e. player development), not just coaching

Just my 2 cents…

Blue Boy

 by Kid Charlamagne
4 weeks ago
 Total posts:   420  
 Joined:  Aug 25 2016
United States of America   LA Coliseum
Starter

Maybe they overvalue it, the staff has had some success rehabbing players from other teams as well as bringing in unheralded rookies. This draft is full of guys that weren’t well known by fans anyway and that are probably going to take some time to develop. Maybe snead’s ahead of the curve in that he is looking for very specific traits to fit what McVay wants.

 by safer
4 weeks ago
 Total posts:   1020  
 Joined:  Feb 03 2016
United States of America   LA Coliseum
Pro Bowl

I think Van is going to excel and I'm curious to see how we use Anchrum this year. He could be a sleeper.

 by JackPMiller
4 weeks ago
 Total posts:   1764  
 Joined:  Sep 22 2016
United States of America   LA Coliseum
Pro Bowl

safer wrote:I think Van is going to excel and I'm curious to see how we use Anchrum this year. He could be a sleeper.


I like him at Anchrum at Guard. Corbett needs to do well, because we don't have nothing there after him. If Whit retires, after this season, we will be the only team in the NFL, not to have a first rounder on our OLine.

 by aeneas1
4 weeks ago
 Total posts:   16068  
 Joined:  Sep 13 2015
United States of America   Norcal
RFU Survivor Champ

does the nfl really develop players? seems like it's much more of a sink or swim proposition, succeed when your number is called and you have a job, for now, fail and you have one foot out the door... when i think of real player development i think of the mlb farm system, or european basketball leagues, etc., but when i think of nfl player development i think of bulking a kid up (diet / weight room) and snaps with #2 and / or special teams.

 by AvengerRam
4 weeks ago
 Total posts:   6596  
 Joined:  Oct 03 2017
Israel   Lake Mary, Florida
Moderator

aeneas1 wrote:does the nfl really develop players? seems like it's much more of a sink or swim proposition, succeed when your number is called and you have a job, for now, fail and you have one foot out the door... when i think of real player development i think of the mlb farm system, or european basketball leagues, etc., but when i think of nfl player development i think of bulking a kid up (diet / weight room) and snaps with #2 and / or special teams.

There's no question that the NFL is much more of a "sink or swim" league than it used to be. Still, there are examples of "late bloomers" that teams identify as underutilized talent and put in a position to succeed. Whether those players were ready all along, or if they developed from the time they left college to the time they got their opportunity... hard to say. I do think that players can get stronger, more dedicated, more in tune with a system, and more ready to play over time. I'd also like to think that the better teams have an ability to identify players who have the potential to improve and, to the extent that cap constraints allow, take the time to groom them.

 by aeneas1
4 weeks ago
 Total posts:   16068  
 Joined:  Sep 13 2015
United States of America   Norcal
RFU Survivor Champ

a few years back one of the more respected sports news outlets did an interesting piece on backup qbs and what teams did to "develop" them - the short answer was absolutely nothing, which was the point of the article, i.e. how could billion dollar teams that were so one-position dependent (qb) not have a program in place that developed these guys, that developed the guy coming off the bench who could make or break a season if the #1 went down? and the short answer to that question, per team sources, was that there simply weren't enough snaps to go around, and certainly not enough snaps with the ones.

anyway, of course none of these guys sit home once they've signed, they're at camp, lifting weights, putting on weight, getting stronger, practicing, watching film, etc., all of which can be considered "development" i'm guessing, but that's a far cry from daily practice snaps with the ones and seeing significant playing time... that said, if you're a guy taken in the 3rd round or later i would think you might want to go to a team that hasn't had a lot of 1st or 2nd round picks in quite some time.

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8 posts Jun 15 2021